The other day I watched my dog as he stared at the grass, fascinated by something in it. I laughed when a cricket jumped up in his face and he jumped back in surprise. And then he went back to looking at or for the cricket again. But what if it hadn’t been a cricket? What if it had been a snake instead? What do you do when your dog is bitten by a snake?
* The first thing you should to when your dog is bitten by a snake is to identify the snake. Note the snake’s size, color patterns and any other distinguishing marks.
* Then check your dog over carefully for fang marks. Be careful as there may be more than one bite wound and these wounds are very painful.
* If your dog is irritable from the bite wounds, try to muzzle him for your own safety.
* Then slowly move your dog to the car, either by having him walk on his own or by carrying your dog to the car.
* Get your dog to the vet immediately. If you can, call ahead so they know you’re coming and are prepared to see you as soon as you walk in. Tell your vet as much as possible about the snake. This will help the vet in determining how to treat your dog.
The best way to “treat” snake bites is to avoid them all-together. So how can you help keep your dog safe from snakes? Keep these tips in mind:
* Keep your dog on a leash when walking for best control of your dog.
* Do not allow your dog to explore holes in the ground or dig under logs, flat rock or planks.
* When hiking or walking, stay on open paths where there is an opportunity for snakes to be visible.
* Keep nighttime walks to a minimum and try to stay in well-lit areas.
* If your dog is curious about “something” hidden in the grass, back off immediately until you know what it is.
We all know dogs are curious about all sorts of things in the grass. So the next time you see your dog nosing around in the grass, keep these tips in mind to keep him safe from snakes.